Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure fund has acquired a majority stake in Lefdal Mine Datacenter

COLUMBIA THREADNEEDLE EUROPEAN SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE FUND ACQUIRES INNOVATIVE ‘GREEN’ DATA CENTRE IN NORWAY

LONDON, 6 May 2020: The Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (ESIF) announces that it has acquired a majority stake in Lefdal Mine Datacenter (LMD), a unique ‘green’ data centre based in an underground mine in Norway, that uses cold sea water from an adjacent fjord for cooling and renewable energy to power its operations. Rittal, a subsidiary of the German industrial family business, Friedhelm Loh Group, will remain a minority shareholder.

Operational since 2017, the facility boasts 75 underground halls, with data centre containers parked in former mine workings that are accessed by underground roads. The centre benefits from high-density data capacity and has a market-leading total cost of operation, which is attractive to clients with high-performance computing workloads, hyperscalers, as well as customers looking for colocation solutions.

The data centre market is set to grow rapidly over the next decade as operators meet the large growth in demand due to the rise of cloud computing, artificial intelligence and the “Internet of Things”. With currently 10 megawatts in operation, the data centre has potential to expand to 200 megawatts in the future. LMD’s cost base is stable and as data centre capacity can be built out on a modular basis as and when required, there is flexibility with capex deployment.

The majority stake has been acquired from a consortium of local shareholders in a transaction which, together with Rittal, facilitates further investment and capacity expansion.

Heiko Schupp, Global Head of Infrastructure at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, said: “We are excited to announce this new investment of ESIF, our open-ended, evergreen fund that invests in European mid-market equity assets. Lefdal Mine Datacenter is an attractive asset for ESIF due to its strong market fundamentals, competitive positioning and the level of sustainability within its operations.

“With its potential to build out data capacity, we believe the company is well positioned to participate in the growth of demand for data, and the potential for capital growth makes the company a good fit for ESIF’s investment strategy. We look forward to a successful working relationship with the management team at Lefdal Mine Datacenter and our partners and participating in the centre’s next stage of expansion.”

Jørn Skaane, CEO Lefdal Mining Datacenter, commented: “With its 10 megawatts of installed capacity, Lefdal Mine Datacenter has been in the early stages of developing the facility into a world leading data centre. With ESIF coming in as a shareholder together with Rittal, the stage has been set for building out and operating large customer requirements. At Lefdal Mine Datacenter, customers do not have to worry about limitations in future capacity due to the size of our facility and access to high quantities of renewable power and cooling.”

Dr. Karl-Ulrich Köhler, CEO of Rittal, said: “As a technology partner, Rittal provides preconfigured, modular and scalable infrastructure for this innovative data centre. We believe the technology used at Lefdal Mine Datacentre sets a new standard. In particular, our German private cloud provider German Edge Cloud has been able to leverage Lefdal Mine Datacenter by offloading energy intensive industrial IT workloads from the edge to the centre. Processes such as machine learning and HPC originating from edge services in the European industry are better processed at Lefdal Mine Datacenter, where high densities can be run in a highly cost-effective way.”

Sindre Kvalheim, CEO LocalHost group and former COB Lefdal Mine Datacenter, said: “The former Norwegian owners, with Måløy based LocalHost group in the lead, initiated Lefdal Mine Datacenter in 2009 together with local utility company Sogn og Fjordane Energi. This group of investors now see that Lefdal Mine Datacenter needs a different owner structure to lift the data centre to its full potential. The LocalHost group has incubated several tech companies, invested more than 60 Mill Euro, and created over 100 jobs over the last ten years. This sale allows us to continue to invest in the region.”

Linda Hofstad Helleland, Norwegian Minister of Regional Development and Digitalisation, commented: “The Government wants Norway to be an attractive nation for data centres. This represents a major economic opportunity for Norwegian businesses and society, and will be a key to the Government’s policies and priorities going forward. We welcome all actors willing to invest in new technologies that may contribute to sustainable growth in the Norwegian society.”

ESIF’s financial advisers were DNB Markets and Wikborg Rein acted as legal advisers. For Lefdal Mine Datacenter and its shareholders, Pareto Securities AS acted as financial advisers and CLP DA as legal advisers.


For media enquiries contact:

Columbia Threadneedle Investments
Wendy Svirakova / Nicolas Duperrier
Tel: 0207 464 5697 /5940
Email: firstname.lastname@columbiathreadneedle.com

 

Lefdal Mine Datacenter
Jørn Skaane
CEO – Lefdal Mine Datacenter AS
Mobile: +47 481 02 409
E-mail: jorn.skaane@lefdalmine.com

 


Notes to Editors

About Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Columbia Threadneedle Investments is a leading global asset manager that provides a broad range of actively managed investment strategies and solutions for individual, institutional and corporate clients around the world. With more than 2000 people including over 450 investment professionals based in North America, Europe and Asia, we manage £373 billion1 of assets across developed and emerging market equities, fixed income, asset allocation solutions and alternatives.

Our priority is the investment success of our clients. We know investors want strong and repeatable risk-adjusted returns and we aim to deliver this through an active and consistent investment approach that is team-based, risk-aware and performance-driven. Our investment teams around the world work together to uncover investment insights. By sharing knowledge across asset classes and geographies we generate richer perspectives on global, regional and local investment landscapes. The ability to exchange and debate investment ideas in a collaborative environment enriches our teams’ investment processes to ensure the best insights are applied to portfolios. More importantly it results in better informed decisions for our clients.

Columbia Threadneedle Investments is the global asset management group of Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (NYSE:AMP), a leading US-based financial services provider. As part of Ameriprise, we are supported by a large and well-capitalised diversified financial services firm.

Source: Columbia Threadneedle Investments as at 31 December 2019.

1 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. Q4 2019 earnings release.

www.columbiathreadneedle.com

Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

The value of investments and any income is not guaranteed and can go down as well as up and may be affected by exchange rate fluctuations. This means that an investor may not get back the amount invested.

This material is for information only and does not constitute an offer or solicitation of an order to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments, or to provide investment advice or services.

Issued by Threadneedle Asset Management Limited. Registered in England and Wales, Registered No. 573204, Cannon Place, 78 Cannon Street, London EC4N 6AG, United Kingdom. Authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Columbia Threadneedle Investments is the global brand name of the Columbia and Threadneedle group of companies.

About Lefdal Mine Datacenter

Lefdal Mine Datacenter, based in Måløy in Norway, is owned by Columbia Threadneedle Investments and Rittal.

LMD has completed the build out of Phase 1, and a cooling capacity of 45 MW is ready for use. The data center has a potential of 120.000 m2 of net whitespace and 200+ MW DC capacity. LMD has in 2018 and in 2019 installed 10 MW of data center capacity. LMD has proven to the market the capability of implementing a TIER III certified design with a unique low investment per MW. The design approach is industrialized and has a built-in flexibility that makes it possible to accommodate variations in both power requirements per unit, as well as different quality requirements/Tier levels. The mountain hall facility sets a new standard for the data center industry. LMD is unprecedented in terms of cost effectiveness, security, and flexibility. The large space, combined with modular design enables a unique time to market, and the combination of cheap and renewable power leads to predictable, low cost for customers.

For more information, visit www.lefdalmine.com.

About Rittal

Rittal, headquartered in Herborn, Germany, is a leading global provider of solutions for industrial enclosures, power distribution, climate control and IT infrastructure, as well as software and services. Systems made by Rittal can be found in more than 90 percent of all global branches of industry, including mechanical and plant engineering, food and beverage production and in IT and telecommunications.

The international market leader’s product portfolio includes configurable enclosures, with data available across the entire production process. Smart Rittal cooling systems, with up to 75 percent lower power and high CO2 advantage, can communicate with the production landscape, enabling predictive maintenance and servicing. The offering also includes innovative IT products, from IT racks and modular data centers, to edge and hyperscale computing solutions.

Founded in 1961, Rittal is the largest company in the owner operated Friedhelm Loh Group. The Friedhelm Loh Group is active worldwide, with 18 production sites and 80 international subsidiaries. It has approximately 12,000 employees and posted revenues of €2.6 billion in fiscal 2018.

For more information, visit www.rittal.com and www.friedhelm-loh-group.com.

Lefdal Mine Datacenter nominated for DCD Award

Lefdal Mine datacenter is nominated in the category “The Infrastructure Scale-Out Award”. This category recognizes really large projects that deliver data center services efficiently at scale. These projects have different requirements to more moderate-sized facilities, presenting unique challenges to the people building them. More information on https://www.dcdawards.global/.

LEFDAL MINE DATACENTER SIGNS ANOTHER 4 MW

Lefdal Mine Datacenter has signed a 3 MW contract with iNNOVO Cloud GmbH. In addition, Fortuitus AG has increased their contract announced earlier this year, to 5 MW.

 

iNNOVO CLOUD – 3 MW HPC APPLICATIONS

The first iNNOVO Cloud container is already active in Lefdal Mine Datacenter. Due to its efficient design, the BCC IT Container from Rittal has an advantage that it is particularly suitable for applications requiring high energy density per rack. This also includes HPC applications such as Hashing as a Service.

With regards to Hashing Services and the underlying blockchain technology, Stefan Sickenberger – CIO at iNNOVO Cloud – emphasizes: “The blockchain holds an enormous potential for the future and for almost every branch of industry. Hashing as a Service for cryptocurrencies is just one of many possible applications that we already operate for some of our customers”. He sees block chain technology as a massive contribution to IT security. “Blockchain technology has the potential to establish a new standard in IT security. We are already working with partners on proof of concepts for the use of Blockchain technology in the Industrial Internet of Things area, says Sickenberger”.

“One of the advantages at Lefdal Mine Datacenter is that we are free to choose which DC TIER Level we need. This gives a huge flexibility with regards to underlying business models and cost calculations, since we can use a lower DC TIER for low SLAs and higher DC TIERs for high SLAs”, says Sickenberger”.

 

FORTUITUS – 5 MW

Fortuitus AG, a Swiss technical infrastructure project financing company, is now installing 5 MW of HPC infrastructure into Lefdal Mine Datacenter. The installations will support FinTech applications for European customers.

“Lefdal Mine Datacenter is the most cost-efficient data center we have found. In addition, they offer an unprecedented scalability where we can add large scale capacity in a short period of time says Mark Collins, CEO of Fortuitus. We look forward to sign up for more capacity as our demand increase”.

 

LEFDAL MINE DATACENTER

Lefdal Mine Datacenter – The Norwegian Solution – opened in May 2017. “We are experiencing a massive interest in our product, says Jørn Skaane, CEO at Lefdal Mine Datacenter. The combination of high security, low cost, scalability and green solutions have put us on the international radar. Fortuitus and iNNOVO Cloud are two highly innovative organizations, and we are proud that they have chosen Lefdal Mine Datacenter to host their infrastructure, says Jørn Skaane.

For more information, see contact information below – or visit www.lefdalmine.com.

Best regards,
Jørn Skaane
Managing Director – Lefdal Mine Datacenter AS
Mobile: +47 481 02 409
E-mail: jorn.skaane@lefdalmine.com

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION – PLEASE CONTACT:
Mats Andersson
Marketing Director – Lefdal Mine Datacenter AS
Mobile: +47 416 96 496
E-mail: mats.andersson@lefdalmine.com

 

ABOUT LEFDAL MINE DATACENTER

Lefdal Mine Datacenter has completed the build out of Phase 1, and a cooling capacity of 45 MW is ready for use. The data center has a potential of 120.000 m2 of net whitespace and 200+ MW IT capacity. The mountain hall facility sets a new standard for the data center industry. Lefdal Mine Datacenter is unprecedented in terms of cost effectiveness, security, and flexibility. The large space, combined with modular design enables a unique time to market, and the combination of cheap and renewable power leads to predictable, low cost for customers. The technical solution is developed together with technology partners Rittal and IBM and capacity can be delivered in either container solutions or traditional white space. Lefdal Mine Datacenter will be one of Europe’s most secure data centers. They offer a Tier III data center service. The data is protected inside EMP secure mountain halls. The facility has access from two single points of entry. This offers a high level of natural security and access control. The design and documentation of infrastructure installations are highly confidential and there is specially trained security staff onsite 24/7.

LMD: 40 feet IT containers deployed at Lefdal Mine Datacenter in “Container Racks”

 

LMD: Entrance to Level 3 – 600 meters into the mountain

iNNOVO BCC container – https://www.innovo-cloud.de/produktgruppen/bcc-container/

The first customers are moving in

Over the next months, Lefdal Mine datacenter will gradually start to move in customers. Some of the first international customers moving in are:

iNNOVO Cloud, a German cloud provider moving in with high density IT containers. The first installment will be up and running in September serving both Norwegian and International clients with their cloud portfolio.

Fortuitus AG, a Swiss technical infrastructure project financing company, are installing 4MW of immersion cooled HPC infrastructure into the mine in Q3 2017, to support FinTech applications for European customers.

LocalHost AS, a leading fully managed service provider on the west coast of Norway, has bought the first Rittal Rimatrix 6 container, and will provide single rack and smart hands services from Lefdal Mine.

Lefdal Mine Datacenter offers different types of IT environments, and will deploy Open19 in the facility. This is a new way to build out data center capacity. An open platform that can fit any 19” rack environment for servers, storage and networking. Lefdal Mine Datacenter will offer “Servers slots as a Service”.

 

IBM will offer their Resiliency Services from Lefdal Mine Datacenter.

 

For more information, please contact Mats Andersson, CMO Lefdal Mine Datacenter – see contact information below.

Lefdal Mine Datacenter is now open – 45 MW

Lefdal Mine Datacenter has completed the build out of Phase 1, and a cooling capacity of 45 MW is ready for use. The mountain hall facility sets a new standard for the data center industry. Lefdal Mine Datacenter is unprecedented in terms of cost effectiveness, security, and flexibility. The large space, combined with modular design enables a unique time to market, and the combination of cheap and renewable power leads to predictable, low cost for customers. The technical solution is developed together with technology partners Rittal and IBM.

FLEXIBLE PRODUCT SOLUTIONS

The flexibility at Lefdal Mine Datacenter is unique, in terms of available space as well as different technical solutions. The large space and capacity, 16 meters roof height in the mountain halls and the related logistics allows different cost effective product solutions. LMD has a potential of 120.000 m2 of net whitespace and 200+ MW IT capacity, delivered in container solutions or traditional white space. This enables customers to get a “pay as you grow” model, with no risk of paying for capacity not needed.

“We can facilitate all known concepts for white space solutions and the facility structure enables a streamlined solution for containers in different shapes and sizes says Jørn Skaane, CEO at Lefdal Mine Datacenter. We can also customize power density, temperature, humidity, operational equipment, Tier level and all related services ensuring the right solution for all our customers, says Skaane. I want to thank both Rittal and IBM for their contribution to the design and the build out process, and for contributing with their global leading products and services into our ecosystem.”

HIGH SECURE FACILITY

Lefdal Mine Datacenter will be one of Europe’s most secure data centers. They offer a Tier III data center service. The data is protected inside EMP secure mountain halls. The facility has access from two single points of entry. This offers a high level of natural security and access control. The design and documentation of infrastructure installations are highly confidential and there is specially trained security staff onsite 24/7.

“We acknowledge the increase in demand for high secure data center capacity, and foresee a future where governments and private sector invest in solutions guaranteeing uptime and proper solutions for back-up and disaster recovery, says Jørn Skaane, CEO at Lefdal Mine Datacenter”.

Grand Opening 10th of May

Lefdal Mine Datacenter will officially open on the 10th of May. Together with our technology partners Rittal and IBM, we have developed a unique data center design. The cooperation has resulted in one of Europe’s most cost effective, secure, green and flexible data center facilities. The size of the facility and the modular design also introduces a leading edge scalable solution.

Norway has a strong value proposition, and the Norwegian Government has recognized the possibility of establishing Norway as a preferred DC location for International operators. At the ceremony, the Government will be represented by the Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

IBM and Rittal are two global companies with market-leading products in the datacenter industry. Lefdal Mine Datacenter, IBM and Rittal share the same vision for the future solutions for the DC industry. The shared competence and the aggregated benefits has led to a shift of paradigm – the industrialization of data centers.

Amongst the specially invited guests are Government representatives, industry leaders and Global IT companies contributing to the ecosystem as partners, customers and potential customers.

Racks for IT containers

The first racks for IT containers have been installed and are ready for operation.

The width of the streets allows placement of containers on both side of the street with a transportation route in the middle. The height of the streets is 17 m and the containers are racked in 3 heights.

Using container-based solutions provides a rational production remotely, quick installation in the facility and the equipment can easily be replaced or moved.

The facility has special designed electrical vehicle that handle up to 30 tons fully loaded IT containers.

Underground data halls

The first panel based data hall has been installed.

The data halls are designed by Rittal and are 12 meter wide, 4 meters tall and variable in length. 30 to 70 meters, or 360 to 840 m2 raised floor.

Time to market is 6 to 8 weeks for the building itself. It can either be bought directly or leased as “raised floor”.  Minimum floor space for leasing is 25 m2, but smaller space can be leased through one of the existing MSP’s having space in the facility.

LMD use water for cooling allowing up to 50 KW/rack using LCP (liquid cooling packages). In the data hall one can choose between LCP, Zucs or CRAH depending on density required.

LMD exhibits – CeBIT 2017

The CeBIT 2017, which will take place in Hannover from March 20 to 24, will under the motto “d! economy – no limits” shed light on opportunities and challenges of the digital transformation of economy and society. The event gathers 200.000 participants and is one of the most important technology fairs in Europe.

LMD will exhibit in Hall 4 together with Rittal and other selected partners. We hope to see you there!

ISO 14001:2015 certification

Lefdal Mine Datacenter is now ISO 14001:2015 certified. The certification has been done by Teknologisk Institutt.

ISO 14001:2015 sets out the criteria for an environmental management system.

It maps out the framework for our organization to set up an effective environmental management system, and provides practical tools to manage our environmental responsibilities

Using ISO 14001:2015 gives assurance to company management and employees, as well as customers and external stakeholders, that environmental impact is being measured and improved.

Lefdal Mine Datacenter is now in the process of certification for ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001:2013 and Uptime Tier III.